Czech utility CEZ's 2022 profit rise indicates record dividend

March 21, 2023 06:06 PM AEDT | By Reuters
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PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech utility CEZ on Tuesday posted a record 78.4 billion crown ($3.50 billion) annual adjusted net profit that beat its own forecast, helped by soaring electricity prices last year due to the Ukraine crisis, indicating a high dividend.

CEZ's profit surged more than threefold in 2022 - surpassing a previous all-time annual earnings record of 51.9 billion crowns posted in 2009 - as wholesale power prices jumped last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a cut in Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) doubled to 131.6 billion crowns, compared with the company's outlook of EBITDA in the range of 115 billion crowns to 125 billion crown.

"The achieved profit for 2022 indicates a record dividend for shareholders," Chief Executive Officer Daniel Benes said.

The company, 70% owned by the Czech government, however, flagged an earnings hit in 2023, as it faces a new tax on windfall profits and levies on generation as the government seeks to help households and firms hit by rising energy costs.

CEZ reiterated its outlook for 2023, expecting adjusted profit to fall to within the range of 30 billion crowns to 40 billion crowns and EBITDA to between 105 billion crowns and 125 billion crowns.

($1 = 22.3990 Czech crowns)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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